1 Execution site(s)
Yevgenia ZH., born in 1934 : « I remembered once there was a group of Jews passing near my house. It was already under the Germans, so, it means that it should have happened in the spring of 1943. So, there was a group of Jews, about five or six people, that were trying to find a shelter because they knew that the raid would happen soon. We knew these people, so my parents offered them to stay overnight in the hay stock. They agreed. My mom prepared them some food. Back then we didn’t have much, but we shared what we had. The following morning, when my mother brought them another meal she didn’t find anyone in the hay. They had left during the night or at dawn, I don’t know exactly. They just left a note saying that they were leaving to keep us alive. After, there were rumors that they were found and shot.” (Witness n°2470U, interviewed in Shabo, on September 10, 2018)
Shabo is located 65 km (40mi) south west of Odesa. It was established ca 1500 as a Tatar village, called Acha-abag "the lower vineyards". The name was subsequently simplified to Shabag and finally to Shaba / Shabo. After the conquest of Bessarabia by the Russian Empire, the region suffered a population drain to the Ottoman Empire. Shabo, in 1812, had been deserted by all but three or four families. Alexander I decided to re-populate the region, in 1822 inviting Swiss settlers of Vaud to cultivate the vineyards of Shabo. Besides the Swiss the area was populated by Germans, Jews and Slavs. Back then the majority of the population lived off vineyards and was viticulturists. The local Ukrainian and Russian population were hired to work on the vineyards. Rather quickly Shabo became a resort place due to its proximity to Liman and the Black Sea, and a temperate climate. Many Jews, especially from Odesa, used to come here for vacation season. In the 1900s, about 60 Jewish families lived in the town. The Jews owned small shops and lived off commerce. A small portion of them were artisans, butchers or worked in the administrations. The community had its synagogue and cemetery. The Zionist movement operated actively in 1920s. In 1930 about 160 Jews lived in the town.
Shabo was occupied by Romanians in July 1941. The Germans arrived only in spring 1943. The extermination of the local population was carried out through the duration of the occupation. According to the accounts of the local villagers, the local Jews were shot in a pit dug in the Orthodox cemetery. The aktion was conducted in the spring summer of 1942. Some of the Jews managed to hide, but we believe were found out and shot afterwards, as the witness reported that other shootings took place right until 1943. Besides the Jews, the local activists were also murdered in Shabo. This execution took place in the so called Munkin steppe, shortly after the Romanian arrival.
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